Ultimate Self-Drive Safari in Rwanda

Are you dreaming about an adventure trip to Rwanda with self-drive Kigali, and wondering how to go on Rwanda safaris, you are in the right place. Going on a Rwanda self-drive safari is the best way to discover the country. This is the ultimate Rwanda self-drive safari itinerary that will take you to the beautiful hills of Rwanda, and wild parts of the country and the best way to experience Rwanda’s landscape and wildlife are by road trip.

This two-week self-drive safari will take you to some of Rwanda’s most amazing destinations. Hike through Nyungwe Forest National Park and search for the elusive mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy all that Rwanda has to offer from Kigali to Musanze.

Day1: Self-driving in Kigali

You will be met and greeted by the company representative from Self –Drive Kigali upon your arrival at Kigali International Airport. He or she will brief you on your safari plus the vehicle before transferring to your hotel for your overnight stay in Kigali. Relax at your hotel.

Day2: Kigali – Nyungwe Forest National Park

After an early morning breakfast, you will drive into the Nyungwe Forest. On the way you will visit Nyanza King’s Palace, the national museum of Butare, and the genocide memorial of Murambi. Nyanza was the headquarters of the ancient Rwanda Kingdom before the arrival of the Europeans. The compound features the tastefully decorated modern palace built by King Mutura in 1934.

Day3: Chimpanzee Tracking Tour

After a very early breakfast, you will proceed to the chimpanzee tracking trail in either the Cyamudongo or Uwinka sections. The total population between the 2 groups is 80 individuals. This is an experience you will never forget. After the chimp tracking, you can relax at the hotel or choose an optional activity that you can discuss with your guide. After retire back to your lodge for dinner and overstay.

Day4: Nyungwe Forest National Park

Today will be your second day in the Nyungwe Forest. In the morning, you can either opt for the Nyungwe canopy walk or a nature walk to the waterfalls. After lunch, you will visit the Colobus monkeys darting through the trees. Your overnight stay will be at the hotel.

Day5: Nyungwe – Kibuye

Early in the morning, you will head to Kibuye via Gisakura, a five-hour journey. Along the way, you will enjoy the thousands of beautiful green hills that make up our country as well as views of Kivu Lake. Your overnight stay will be at the Betania Guest House.

Day6: Kibuye – Gisenyi

Today you will transfer to Gisenyi by speed boat or vehicle (the choice is yours). Along the way, you will explore the wonderful views of the different islands along Lake Kivu and some of the Congolese hills. Your overnight stay will be at the hotel.

Day7: Gisenyi

You will spend part of the day relaxing and swimming at Kivu Serena Beach. After breakfast and your time at the beach, you will drive to Musanze, the base town for visiting mountain gorillas. Enjoy a visit to the IbyI’wacu cultural village and then overnight at the Hotel.

Day8: Volcanoes National Park

Early in the morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Volcanoes National Park for your first gorilla trek. You will arrive at the main office at 7:00 am for a short briefing and coffee break before going on your trek. Your overnight stay will be at the hotel.

Day9: Gorilla Trekking Encounter – Optional

After breakfast, you will drive to the park office. The head ranger of the Rwanda Development Board will divide you into groups of 8 people based on interest and fitness. From here, you will drive as close as possible to the starting point of your tracking. You will track one of the habituated gorilla groups. The time taken to track the gorillas can take as little as two hours to as much as 8 hours. Coming face to face with mountain gorillas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you get to spend only one hour with them. Retire back to your lodge and in the evening, you can visit the twin lakes Lake Burera and Ruhondo. Your over stay at the hotel.

Day10: Golden Monkeys Tracking – Akagera National Park

Today you will visit the golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park. You will again have to be at the main office at 7:00 am for a short briefing before your trek. After lunch, you will be transferred to Akagera National Park via Kigali. Here you will have lunch before driving into Akagera National Park. You will cruise to Lake Ihema in the afternoon and then go bird watching in Akagera. Your overnight stay will be at the lodge.

Day11: Akagera National Park – Kigali

After breakfast, you will go on a game drive in the park. Akagera National Park is located in Eastern Rwanda on the border with Tanzania. Akagera National Park is the only savannah park in Rwanda and is home to several mammal species. These include lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, Kobs, zebras, bush bucks, water bucks and most recently black rhinos have been introduced from South Africa. This makes Akagera National Park officially a Big Five Park like it was many years ago. It is also home to numerous bird species in several habitats which include woodland, swamps, lakes and savannah.

Day 12: Kigali

After breakfast, and depending on your departure flight, you may go on a complimentary visit to the Ntarama Church. This was the site where more than 5,000 were killed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This genocide memorial is located 30km south of Kigali in the Bugasera region. This church and its contents are a reminder of the horrifying violence that took place. Learn more about the unity and reconciliation commission while you are here. After you can depart for your flight back home.